Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Research Article

Iheyaspira bathycodon new species (Vetigastropoda: Trochoidea: Turbinidae: Skeneinae) from the Von Damm Vent Field, Mid-Cayman Spreading Centre, Caribbean

Verity Nyea1 c1, Jon Copleya1, Katrin Linsea2 and Sophie Plouvieza3

a1 Ocean & Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton, University of Southampton Waterfront Campus, European Way, Southampton, SO14 3ZH, UK

a2 British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0ET, UK

a3 Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University Marine Laboratory, 135, Duke Marine Lab Road, Beaufort, NC 28516, USA


Iheyaspira bathycodon sp. nov. is described from the Von Damm Vent Field on the world's deepest spreading centre, the Mid-Cayman Spreading Centre (MCSC), Caribbean, at 2300 m depth. The new species is defined and illustrated from 11 specimens, with brief notes on habitat and known distribution. Molecular phylogenetic data from partial COI mDNA, 16S rDNA and nuclear 18S rDNA regions are used to analyse the species’ phylogenetic position and its morphology is compared with previously described skeneid and vent taxa. The new species is distinguished from the most closely allied vent species, Iheyaspira lequios Okutani, Sasaki & Tsuchida, 2000 by morphological differences in radula diagnosis and appendage structure of the head-foot. Iheyaspira bathycodon sp. nov. is the tenth turbinid to be described from a hydrothermal-vent environment and the second species to be named from recently discovered hydrothermal vents on the MCSC. Determining the faunal composition of assemblages at the vent fields of the MCSC will help to elucidate the vent biogeography of the region.

(Received May 06 2011)

(Accepted May 11 2012)

(Online publication August 13 2012)


  • Gastropoda;
  • Vetigastropoda;
  • Trochoidea;
  • Turbinidae;
  • Skeneinae;
  • Iheyaspira bathycodon ;
  • new species;
  • Cayman;
  • hydrothermal vents